The Private Man

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Archive for the day “February 14, 2015”

Valentine’s Day – A High School Memory

I went to a very small private high school in New England. There were only 63 kids in my graduating class, a bit over 300 in the whole school. There were a lot of bright, creative young people. Quite a few went on to ivy league colleges. One or two became quite famous.

One particular guy in my class, Carl, was known for his creative and essentially harmless stunts he played on the school.  On Valentine’s day, our senior year, Carl did one of those stunts. Every Valentine’s day, the senior class sold flowers and delivered them to the wooden, wall-mounted cubbies (we called them that) in the halls each student was given to store his/her stuff. We didn’t have lockers. A student would order a flower and it would be given anonymously to the object of that student’s affection. A white flower was for friendship, a red flower was romance. Given that the student’s wooden cubbies didn’t have doors, the flowers received in a cubby (labeled with the student’s name) became something of a popularity contest. A pretty girl’s cubby would have a dozen or more flowers on display. A popular guy would have the same thing. For the record, I only received two flowers in my entire three years at the school.

Back to Carl. As a bright and clever fellow, he understood the social validation nature of the flower-giving on Valentine’s day at our school. So, he prepared an individual Valentine for every girl in the school, about 170 of them. He spent some time on preparations and on February 14, he arrived at school before the crack of down to execute his stunt. When the rest of the students arrived later in the morning, every girl found a Valentine token from Carl in her cubby. The whole school was laughing because Carl had pulled off quite a joke.

Here’s what he did – He wrote some very strategic words on a piece of ordinary, (8 1/2″ by 11″) white photocopier paper. He actually used some basic typesetting so the words weren’t hand-written. He then photocopied enough copies (again, on ordinary white paper) for every girl in the school. Before everyone else arrived for the school day, he went through the halls where the student cubbies were located and placed his Valentine message in only the girls’ cubbies.

The punchline?  The words on every identical photocopied Valentine message were these:

“You’re my one and only”.

Go Carl.

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